Coenzyme Q10, Collagen and “Who Wants to Live Forever” [Queen+Highlander]

Was at my neighbourhood shopping mall earlier today to pick up a fresh bottle of fish oil supplements. Over the years, I have been disabused of most of my (*cough) faith in the health and nutritional supplement industry, and have reduced to currently only taking fish oil capsules for the supposedly anti-inflammatory effect; very helpful for my rather punishing, almost daily workout sessions (towards pushing the body into a constantly see-sawing disequilibrium between the antagonistic and yet strangely also synergistic processes of catabolism and anabolism). At least, I hope.

At the health and nutritional supplement store [been a member of this store my entire adult life, ever since I bought my first carton of protein powder here at age 18, as a hard-training competition canoeist and dragon-boater; always wished I had been the one to bring this brand franchise to Spore during the 90s instead of the very astute lady local franchise owner; been waiting forever for the parent company to IPO so as to get in on this fantastic business, but somehow I missed it when they finally listed in 2011, and the share price doubled in under a year…sigh], I would usually pick up my fish oil supplements and promptly head to the cashier to make my payment, all the way firmly saying No, thank you to the fusillade of sales and marketing spiel the very persistent shop assistants will launch at you to cross-sell and try to get you to buy Another bottle of Flora Prebiotics and Multi-Vit to enjoy a further 27.89% discount!

But this time, maybe because my old niggling back pain and especially the new aches in my knees have been making themselves felt, I lingered on at the shelves, wondering if I should give that old canard, glucosamine and chondroitin, another try…

I lingered on too long: at once the buzzards swooped in, and the shop assistant began having a go at me. I firmly put on my game face, shook No politely and made my move towards the cashier. The wily sales promoter anticipated my move and sidestepped to block and shifted tactics: Maybe you need some fresh protein powder, how about trying our new whey and casein blended protein concentrate?

Hmm, strange. I did not make any indication I was interested in protein powder. Ah, must be my broad chest and cannonball delts straining under my shirt; my bulging serrated vascular arms almost splitting the sleeves and seams; my oak tree-like legs with steel-piston calves…NOT!

I harrumph-ed indignantly and said I have not used protein powder for the last 10 years, since my college days. Nowadays my protein sources are strictly from natural whole foods. She backtracked brilliantly and without missing a beat, relaunched her (charm) offensive: Wow, I thought you were still in school or just started working. You don’t look like you’re in your thirties!
[Nice try lady, but that’s laying it on a bit too thick]

Then, without any inkling and trace of irony, she fired her new shot: You know what men in their thirties must start to take care off? Wrinkles and loss of skin elasticity. You really must try Coenzyme Q10 and Collagen supplements to replace and maintain your collagen levels and skin tone, and even repair cellular damage. And right now, we have this great offer if you buy two of… …

Read this amusing news feature when I got back, still smarting a little from the encounter at the health store. Somehow, I don’t think the 115 year-old Mr Kimura took coenzyme Q10 or collagen supplements:

Oldest Man Turning 115 Can Thank Lottery Win-Like Genes

Jiroemon Kimura, who became the world’s oldest man on record last week, can thank a combination of luck early in life and, later, good genes for surviving seven decades longer than most of his peers.

Kimura, a former postman who is 115 years and 258 days old and still greets visitors with a warm smile, dodged childhood killers such as tuberculosis and pneumonia that kept life expectancy in Japan to 44 years around the time he was born in 1897. As an adult living in the town of Tango, he had no major illnesses, his granddaughter-in-law Eiko Kimura said in an interview. He followed sumo wrestling on television and read two newspapers a day until the last few years, she said.

As Kimura ages, his DNA is giving him an edge. Scientists say specific genes that protect against heart disease, cancer and other old-age ailments foster longevity. Knowing the biological mechanisms involved may provide clues to counter a rising tide of non-communicable diseases predicted to cost the global economy $47 trillion over the next 20 years.

“Getting the right combination is like winning the lottery,” said Thomas Perls, director of the New England Centenarian Study at Boston University. Some of Kimura’s genes “are likely protective against damaging cellular processes that contribute to aging and even protective against genetic variants that may not be good for him.”

While Mr Kimura looks happy enough, I am not sure that living to 115, or to a 100 or 90 or 80 is such a great idea.

After all, who really wants to live forever…

Who Wants to Live Forever – Queen [Highlander OST]:

There’s no time for us
There’s no place for us
What is this thing that builds our dreams
Yet slips away from us…

Who wants to live forever?
Who wants to live forever…..?

There’s no chance for us
It’s all been decided for us
This world has only one sweet moment
Set aside for us

Who wants to live forever?
Who wants to live forever…..?

Who dares to love forever
When love must die?

But touch my tears with your lips
Touch my world with your fingertips
And we can have forever
And we can love forever
Forever is our today

Who wants to live forever
Who wants to live forever
Forever is our today

Who waits forever anyway?

Who waits forever anyway…


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